Blazers begin trip against Wizards
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Trail Blazers head east for four games, starting Monday night when they visit the Verizon Center to take on the Washington Wizards.
Portland begins its road trip after losing two of its last three. With Oklahoma City's recent surge, the Blazers are three back in the Northwest Division.
The Trail Blazers will also visit the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves on this sojourn.
Portland was able to secure a victory its last time out, a 106-103 win over the Toronto Raptors at Moda Center Saturday night.
The Blazers coughed up a 16-point fourth quarter lead, but LaMarcus Aldridge tallied 27 points with 15 rebounds and Damian Lillard's running bank shot with 11.9 seconds left proved to be the game-winner.
"It's good to get a win after losing a couple. It's a win we needed to get," said head coach Terry Stotts. "Toronto played very well to get back in the game and obviously to take the lead. But I don't want to have that last quarter take away from what I thought was a pretty good game for us."
The Wizards have alternated wins and losses over their last nine, but the most recent was the biggest.
John Wall supplied 17 points, 15 assists and six steals, as the Wizards halted the Oklahoma City Thunder's 10-game win streak with a 96-81 triumph on Saturday at the Verizon Center.
Trevor Ariza registered a team-high 18 points, Nene followed with 17, and Marcin Gortat tallied 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Wizards, who have won three of their last five games.
Kevin Durant was held under 30 points for the second straight game, finishing with 26 points, seven assists and five boards for the Thunder, who were held under 100 points for the first time since Jan. 14, the same day of their last loss, a 90-87 setback at Memphis.
"Just try to make him take tough shots," Ariza said when asked how his team was able to limit Durant's scoring. "Try not to give him no easy, easy looks."
Things don't get any easier for the Wizards. After bouts with the Thunder and Blazers, the other elite team out west, the San Antonio Spurs come to town on Wednesday and the Wiz end the homestand on Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Wizards swept both meetings with Portland last season and have won four of the last six in this series. Portland has lost three of its last four visits to D.C.
02/03 11:06:21 ET